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Thread: Annie Lennox : 'Being a musician should be about making a statement, not money'

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Annie Lennox : 'Being a musician should be about making a statement, not money'

    The singer on the loneliness of fame, why everyone should start a band when they're young and being a do-gooder Edwardian lady

    'There's more to life than being famous. The exposure bands get nowadays, via the internet and television, is preposterous,' said Annie Lennox

    Singer Annie Lennox was half of Eighties pop band Eurythmics, together with her one-time partner Dave Stewart. They achieved worldwide success with the 1983 album Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), followed by such chart-topping singles as Would I Lie To You? and There Must Be An Angel. Her cropped hair and incredible costumes made Lennox a pop icon.
    She went solo in 1990, and her first album, Diva, sold 1.2 million copies in the UK alone. She has won eight Brit awards, as well as an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2004.
    She received an OBE earlier this year for her charity work.
    Everyone should start a band when theyíre young, because you have nothing to lose.

    Thereís no secret formula to success. The only advice I would give is that you have to possess profound passion and dedication. You need a sense of exploration and daring, because there are no guarantees it will work out. You have to be willing to take massive risks.

    Fame is a lonely place to be.
    Thatís why I was glad to be in a band and share it all with Dave (Stewart). If you speak to any young band on the rise to the top, theyíll tell you how incredible it feels. When the wheels start to turn, itís a remarkable ride to share with somebody close. The downside of working with somebody youíre connected to is that itís much harder to escape. By end of the Eighties I just wanted to get out and find out whether I could write and record a solo album. Weíd been together for ten years and I needed to see what I could achieve alone.

    Every time you go on stage you should prove to the audience youíre worth the ticket price.
    It hasnít always been easy to do it, as Eurythmics toured and played continuously. We were famous around the world, so we had to tour for months on end. I donít think Iíll ever tour again. As far as Iím concerned, Iíve done all that. I also have certain physical issues with my back and foot, and while I love to perform, Iím just not up to travelling around the globe any more. I do the odd performance, but itís usually in a T-shirt and jeans.

    'Fame is a lonely place to be. That's why I was glad to be in a band and share it all with Dave (Stewart)'

    Being a musician didnít used to be about money or celebrity like it is now.
    It should be about making a statement. Thereís more to life than being famous. The exposure bands get nowadays, via the internet and television, is preposterous.

    Youíre too old to be a punk at the age of 20.
    In the early Seventies, the best-known women singers in Britain were people like Lulu, Petula Clark and Cilla Black. When punk came along in 1975 it was radical and very exciting. Suddenly a whole new generation of artists appeared, and it was impossible not to be influenced by it. There was a real energy to the music that just swept you along with it, although I wish Iíd been a few years younger when it arrived.

    Itís very hard to say no when people come to me for support.
    I have to try to be more disciplined in that way, because Iím asked to do things all the time. Iím in a privileged position, so more often than not I end up doing the things I should have said no to in the first place. My world is like a lot of plates spinning, and I have to organise my time very well.

    When I was young I wanted to change everything.
    When Eurythmics formed we wanted to eradicate the past. And we really wanted to reinvent ourselves as something that was cutting-edge and striking. So when I dyed my hair and cut it short in 1980, it was deemed very radical. Dave was my mentor and we understood each other so well. He was somebody I was completely connected to. It was almost like having my best friend with me all the time. We fought the good fight together and went through all the ups and downs.

    I agree with John Lennon Ė Ďlife is what happens to you while youíre busy making other plansí.
    If I could live my life over, there are things Iíd do differently. Certainly I wish Iíd made some different choices and avoided some things. Nowadays itís very much carpe diem Ė I donít plan long-term. Iíve learnt to live according to Johnís wonderful maxim.

    'I often feel like a do-gooder Edwardian lady. I spend most of my days working on various causes'

    When I first moved to London I was so broke I couldnít even afford my own records.
    I shared a flat in London with somebody who had a big record collection, which was a lifesaver. That was when I discovered Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. I just fell in love with their voices. That was the moment when I first realised that I wanted to be a singer too. Joni was such an astounding lyricist with a beautiful voice Ė the social commentary was so powerful, astute and poetic.

    As a teenager I wore torn-up black bin liners.
    This was with my first band, who were called the Tourists and formed in the mid-Seventies. A lot of young people felt so disconnected from conventional society that they were forced to create their own identity in whatever way they could. Thatís what we did with the Tourists. We had very little money and were living hand to mouth, but it turned out to be good training for what was to come.

    I often feel like a do-gooder Edwardian lady.
    I spend most of my days working on various causes, as I was inspired by visiting South Africa and hearing Nelson Mandela speak about the HIV Aids pandemic. I set out to try to do something, and itís not so much charity as advocacy work. I am a campaigner, particularly interested in human rights and justice. All the income from my last album, A Christmas Cornucopia, went to the Annie Lennox Foundation to raise money for projects supporting and educating women and children in Africa with HIV. Iím also an ambassador for several charities, including Amnesty International, Oxfam and Nelson Mandelaís 46664 campaign.

    I donít go to bed every night in an amazing costume like Lady Gaga.
    She clearly likes living that way, but Iíve never been that person. There are always people in life like that, who are very unusual, exceptional and rare. They live completely for whatever it is they do. For them, thereís no separation between their art and real life. My life has been mixed into my art, but I make a distinction. There is Annie Lennox, 56-year-old mother of two, who my friends see crashed out in jeans at home. Then thereís the other person people remember, wrapped up in some pretty wild costumes.

    The House of Annie Lennox, a display of the singerís famous costumes and props, is at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London until February 26. vam.ac.uk

    Read more: Annie Lennox: 'Being a musician should be about making a statement, not money or celebrity' | Mail Online

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    Elite Member Honeythorn's Avatar
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    I love this lady so effing much!
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    Where's aabbcc?
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Dig that red dress in the first pic.

    Yea, she rules.

    *waits for aabbcc also*

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    She is so lovely, inside and out.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    Where's aabbcc?
    I am sure she has to undergo some purification ritual before she will post here.
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    Elite Member WhateverLolaWants's Avatar
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    She's 100% right. I also think people who think being a popular musician will always be lucrative are fooling themselves as well, I believe. There are only small windows in history where it has been, and I think we are dipping into another where it will not be.
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Diva is still my go to CD many times. Her voice sooths me.
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    Elite Member Air Quotes's Avatar
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    She is still so hot. Love her.
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    Gold Member lucianodel's Avatar
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    Nobody would be interested in being a singer if not big money. And calling today's singers "musicians" is wrong. Most of them can't even read sheet music, not counting the fact that they don't even bother getting vocal lessons while autotube is cheaper.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i love autotube
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    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    i love autotube
    LOL.

    OK I am going to say it. Of course Annie Lennox, being set for life, can say it's all about the music (man)!!! I'm pretty sure that she and David Stewart did not start out thinking if we don't make money it really doesn't matter because we so love being in the Tourists pop group who are making such meaningful statements.

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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    I always liked her, but she went down in my estimation with that Justin Timberlake incident.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollo View Post
    I'm pretty sure that she and David Stewart did not start out thinking if we don't make money it really doesn't matter because we so love being in the Tourists pop group who are making such meaningful statements.
    Yeah I kind of agree with that too, even though I get what she's trying to say. Not all music has to be about making statements, it should also be about making sounds that people like to hear. And that includes bubble gum pop, like The Tourists.

    She has the right idea but comes across as a bit of a wanker.
    "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."



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    Quote Originally Posted by faithanne View Post
    Yeah I kind of agree with that too, even though I get what she's trying to say. Not all music has to be about making statements, it should also be about making sounds that people like to hear. And that includes bubble gum pop, like The Tourists.

    She has the right idea but comes across as a bit of a wanker.

    Yes I completely agree - she sounds a bit pretentions... the eurythmics were making pop music after all - it was fairly mainstream, as is all of her music. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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